Home Builder Quality Requirements Revised

The National Assn. of Home Builders has revised its national housing quality certified quality system requirements.

The new or amended requirements are:

  • Builders should expect their contractors to have safety programs.
  • Contractors must have a process for keeping current on codes, standards and industry regulations.
  • Contractors must have a process for providing feedback to builders when the builder specifies products or materials the contractor knows will negatively impact quality.
  • Contractors must have appropriate training and supervision to ensure work of previous trades is not damaged.
  • Equipment maintenance is now included in the rules covering calibration.
  • The job-ready inspection should ensure materials being used are suitable for the job.
  • Follow-up and documentation are expected when significant complaints are received as part of the builder feedback survey.

For more information, go to www.nahbrc.org.


Senate Considers National Innovation Act

Sens. John Ensign, R-NV, and Joe Lieberman, D-CT, have introduced a bill that calls for more federal investment in U.S. efforts at innovation in science and engineering. The National Innovation Act focuses on three primary areas: research investment, increasing science and technology talent and developing an innovation infrastructure.

The legislation would significantly increase federal support for graduate fellowship and trainee programs in science, math and engineering fields. Lieberman says this will attract more students to these fields and “create a more competitive and innovative American workforce.”

“The number of jobs requiring technical training is growing at five times the rate of other occupations,” Lieberman says. “However, the average number of students studying and entering these fields is declining, and the average age of the U.S. science and engineering workforce is rising.”

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-IN, a supporter of the bill, says, “China and India graduate 6.4 million from college each year and more than 950,000 engineers. The United States turns out 1.3 million college graduates and 70,000 engineers. By spurring research and innovation in the United States, we are also ensuring our companies stay competitive internationally and prosper domestically.”

Among other things, the bill would establish the President’s Council on Innovation and an Innovation Acceleration Grants Program, which would encourage federal agencies funding research in science and technology to allocate 3% of their R&D budgets to grants directed toward high-risk cutting-edge research. It would also nearly double research funding for the National Science Foundation by fiscal year 2011.

Several organizations and businesses have released statements of support, including the American Chemical Society, the Electronic Industries Alliance, Hewlett Packard, the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Semiconductor Industry Assn.

For more information or to contact your legislator, go to www.senate.gov.


ASQ Announces 2006-07 Board Candidates

ASQ’s Nominating Committee has announced the candidates for the 2006-07 membership year board of directors. They are:

  • Chairman: Jerry Mairani, director, corporate quality, Beutler Corp., CA.
  • President: Ron Atkinson, director, corporate quality, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., China.
  • President-elect: Mike Nichols, director and senior Master Black Belt, Six Sigma deployment, American Express Corp., NC.
  • President-elect: Daniel Sniezek, program manager/system engineer/quality assurance manager, Lockheed Martin Federal Services, NY.
  • Treasurer: Hope Gonzales, program manager, management review and metrics, global compliance metrics administration and senior quality consultant, Abbott Laboratories, IL.
  • Director: Jochen Amelsberg, change agent, Region North Gate Gourmet GmbH Deutschland, Germany.
  • Director: Aimee Siegler, supplier development engineer, Benchmark Electronics, MN.

The addition of a second president-elect is new. The Nominating Committee approved a petition in accordance with the ASQ bylaws to make the change.

Election rules do not allow candidates to campaign or have others campaign for them, but proxies and position statements for each candidate running for a contested office will be sent to all regular members by Feb. 23. The results of the election will be announced April 30, during ASQ’s annual business meeting, held in conjunction with the World Conference on Quality and Im-provement in Milwaukee.


Standardized Survey Developed for Perception of Hospital Care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Ser-vices and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have developed the first standardized survey for measuring how patients perceive the care they receive in hospitals.

The survey, known as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), presents a standardized method for collecting and scoring this information, which will be publicly reported. Because HCAHPS is standardized, it will allow comparison of care among hospitals across the country, something not previously available.

In addition to demographic questions, the survey asks patients about their experiences in seven areas of hospital care: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain control, communication about medicines, cleanliness and quietness of the environment and discharge information.

More information, along with the survey and instructions for its use, can be found at www.qualityforum.org. The Hospital Quality Alliance plans to post the results of HCAHPS at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.


Warranty News—Some Bad, Some Good

According to Warranty Week, American manufacturers spent more than $25 million honoring their product warranties in 2004, an increase of 4.8% from 2003 levels.

But 63% of manufacturers actually saw a decrease in claims rates as a percentage of sales, according to the newsletter’s latest statistics.

While only 20 of the top 50 U.S. based warranty providers continued to report declines in their claims rates during the first six months of 2005, some of these declines were proportionally quite large.

Boeing, Seagate Technology, John Deere, Ingersoll-Rand, Tyco, Maxtor, Avaya, Lennar and Rockwell Collins all saw declines of 20% or more compared to the same six months of 2004.

For a list of the top 25 warranty spenders in the first half of 2005 and comparison with 2004 figures, go to www.warrantyweek.com.

ASQ News

DISCOUNT OFFERED ON BLACK BELT TRAINING To commemorate its 60th anniversary, ASQ is offering a discount on all public Six Sigma Black Belt courses. The special pricing will begin with the Feb. 13 course in Charlotte, NC, and will apply to public courses beginning before June 30. For more information, go to www.asq.org/six-sigma-training/blackbelt.

AUDIT DIVISION LINES UP SPEAKERS The 15th an- nual Audit Division Conference, Oct. 19-20 in Reno, NV, will feature more than 30 speakers. Sessions will include How to Reduce the Risk From Sarbanes-Oxley, Auditing Techniques To Drive and Measure Change and Ethics for Quality Auditing. For more information, go to www.asq.org/audit/conferences/index.html.

EDUCATION LEADERSHIP SUMMIT TO FEATURE BALDRIGE WINNER ASQ’s second annual Education Leadership Summit for Superintendents will be June 26-27 in St. Petersburg, FL. The purpose of the event is to expose school superintendents to systems management and quality concepts through their peers. One of this year’s speakers is Kirby Lehman, superintendent of the Jenks Public School District in Oklahoma, 2005 recipient of the Baldrige award. For more information, go to www.asq.org/conferences/education-summit.

PARTICIPATION UP IN TEAM EXCELLENCE COMPETITION ASQ is expecting 35 to 40 teams to participate in this year’s International Team Excellence Competition, up from 27 in 2005. Teams from countries such as Korea, Singapore, Japan, India, Mexico and the United States will compete for gold, silver and bronze awards. Judging spans several months and ends at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Milwaukee, May 1-3, where teams will showcase their projects. For more information, visit http://wcqi.asq.org/team-competition/index.html.

PAPERS SOUGHT FOR QUALITY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE The 19th Quality Management Conference will be March 1-2, 2007, in Dallas and will feature both pre- and postconference courses. The Quality Management Division is seeking papers for the event’s forums, courses, presentation sessions, panels and workshops. For complete information, go to www.asq.org/qm/conferences.

JQP ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR 2006 The Journal for Quality and Participation (JQP) has released its 2006 editorial calendar and is accepting submissions. The cover themes are Telling Your Story (spring issue); Energizing Change (summer issue); Me vs. Us (fall issue); Right Person, Right Job (winter issue). See JQP’s author guidelines at www.asq.org/pub/jqp/author/index.html.

DATES CHANGED FOR QUALITY INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE The 2006 Quality Institute for Health-care will be July 31-Aug. 2 in Houston. This year’s event, originally scheduled for March, will focus on rapid cost re-duction, supply chain improvement, effective measurement practices and maximizing the patient’s view of value. For more information, go to http://qihc.asq.org.

ASQ TO OFFER MORE TRAINING IN MEXICO ASQ has signed a licensing agreement with Plexus Mexico, an international organization that designs and develops training courses for quality management systems. Plexus Mexico will offer ASQ Six Sigma training and ASQ certification exams in Spanish for Mexico’s automotive industry. For more information, go to www.plexusintl.com.mx.

ASQ CANADA TO OFFER SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT COURSE ASQ Canada will offer it’s first-ever Six Sigma Black Belt course. The first session will be March 19-24 at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For more information go to

CASE STUDIES CAN BE SUBMITTED ONLINE Users of ASQ’s website can submit case studies online at www.asq.org/economic-case/submit.html. A case study should be a step-by-step description of a specific project that had a positive impact on an organization. A staff editor and volunteer team review all submissions, and accepted case studies are added to ASQ’s quality body of knowledge.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Christy L. Beaudin.

Residence: Lake Balboa, CA.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, California State University San Bernardino; master’s degree in social work, San Diego State University; doctorate in health services research, University of California Los Angeles.

Current job: Corporate director, quality improvement, PacifiCare Behavioral Health, Van Nuys, CA.

Introduction to quality: Foothill Elementary School. Her first grade teacher, Mrs. Evans, always encouraged excellence in reading, writing, arithmetic, music, art and play. “We searched for solutions to problems or issues,” Beaudin says. “Sometimes we needed additional information. We would check our answers. Were they the right answers? Best answers? Sometimes we would have to start all over again.” This early plan-do-check-act foundation was the springboard for appreciating the pursuit of excellence and distinguishing good from great.

ASQ activities: Member, ASQ healthcare division; Quality Press reviewer.

Other activities: Gave testimony to the Evidence Based Practices Subcommittee for the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health; participated in the Center for Mental Health Services Crossing the Quality Chasm initiative for behavioral health; serves as a member of the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission’s Health Standards Committee, the California Assn. for Healthcare Quality and the National Assn. for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ); has served on several journal review boards.

Published works: Q Solutions: Essential Re-sources for the Healthcare Quality Professional, ed., with L.R. Pelletier (National Association for Healthcare Quality, 2005); more than 50 book chapters, articles, case studies and editorials.

Recent honor: 2005 Golden Pen award from NAHQ for co-authoring “Using the Quality Improvement Committee To Establish Accountability and Yield Results,” with Jon Beaty, published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Personal: Single; proud aunt of five unique nephews ranging from 7 to 24 years old.

Favorite ways to relax: The company of family and friends, luscious wine, provocative theater, independent movies, music of all genres, mah-jongg, bicycling, a good book.

Quality quote: Historically, behavioral health lagged general medical services in integrating quality improvement principles into practice. It is very encouraging to see emerging initiatives, including work by the surgeon general, Institute of Medicine and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Near and long-term, these should yield consumer benefits. Through collaboration, there will be innovative thinking to improve quality across the continuum of care. And, the consumer experience will be one in which effective mental health treatment can be accessed in ways that work for the consumer.

Short Runs

A GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY standard has been published by the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO. ISO/PAS 28000:2005 for security management systems is available from the American National Standards Institute at www.ansi.org or from ISO at www.iso.org.

THE AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE’S board has approved the newly published United States Standards Strategy. The document establishes a framework to improve trade issues in the global marketplace, enhance consumer health and safety, meet the needs of diverse industries and advance U.S. viewpoints in the regional and international standardization arenas. Copies are available at www.ansi.org/usss or www.us-standards-strategy.org.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY has awarded two grants to promote fundamental research in measurement science in U.S. colleges and universities. One grant went to Edmund G. Myers of Florida State University and the other to David Weiss of Pennsylvania State University. For more details, go to www.nist.org.

THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (AHRQ) is developing a how-to guide to help healthcare organizations create patient registries to track the outcomes of medical treatments, including drugs. Tar-geted at both government and private sector entities, it will also provide criteria for evaluating registries and quality of data, as well as guidance on how registry data can be used to conduct scientific research. AHRQ expects the guide to be completed by the end of 2006. For more information, go to http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.

ACCORDING TO THE CENTER FOR STUDYING HEALTH SYSTEM CHANGE (HSC), physician pay-for-performance initiatives are still on the drawing board in many communities. An HSC report, “Can Money Buy Quality? Physician Response to Pay for Performance,” details a study of 12 U.S. communities in various stages of implementing pay-for-performance programs. The full report is available at www.hschange.org/CONTENT/807 (case specific).

A REPORT BY THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS CAUTIONS that while pay-for-performance programs for doctors can be effective, such programs must use the right quality measures, rely on accurate data and minimize the burden on physician offices. The report also says existing physician reimbursement systems are inadequate to support pay-for-performance and require a redesign. The full report can be found at www.acponline.org/hpp/link_pay.pdf.

THE QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT INSTITUTE has issued a call for papers for its 18th symposium, slated for Dec. 2, 2006, in Austin, TX. Both completed projects and those still in progress are candidates for presentation. The abstract deadline is May 31. For additional information, go to www.qfdi.org/call_for_papers.htm.


Nine Divisions Receive Management Awards

Nine ASQ divisions have won the J.S. McDermond Division Management Program Award. ASQ created the award to recognize divisions that define their customers and constituencies, strive for excellence in meeting needs and desires and work to achieve the Society’s strategic initiatives.

The three levels of awards are performing, level one; master, level two; and top achiever, level three. The levels are achieved by obtaining a certain number of points associated with specific documentation requirements.

The following divisions received level three awards for the 2004-05 membership year: Automotive; Aviation, Space and Defense; Biomedical; Chemical and Process Industries; Customer-Supplier; Design and Construction; Food, Drug and Cosmetic; Quality Management. The Energy and Environmental Division received a level one award.


Baldrige Nonprofit Pilot Planned This Year

With a nonprofit category for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award scheduled to begin in 2007, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says it will conduct a pilot application program in 2006.

NIST says the aim of the program is to help train the private sector examiners who review applications and to determine the readiness of nonprofit organizations to participate.

During the pilot, NIST will accept applications only from nonprofits that have received top level awards from state or local quality award programs and would be eligible to apply for the new award in 2007.

For information on participating in the pilot, contact Mark Shapiro at 800-898-4506 or mark.shapiro@nist.gov.


Three Agencies Receive President’s Quality Awards

The U.S. Department of Labor, Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of State recently received 2005 President’s Quality Awards for managerial excellence in the federal government.

Labor was honored for overall management, including integration of different management systems. State received two awards—one for innovative and exemplary practice and the second for agencywide performance in a governmentwide strategic management of human capital initiative. SSA was also honored for its efforts in the human capital initiative.

The President’s Quality Award Program was established in 1988 to recognize excellence in quality and productivity, applying to the public sector criteria similar to that for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers